Installing Concrete Footings with Fibre Forms
Concrete footings provide a more stable foundation than skids. The footings support 4x6 pressure-treated timbers which are fastened to them with a metal bracket. The beams, in turn, support the shed. Lay out the shed, dig the site to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, and dig holes 10 inches below the frost line for footings. Line the holes with leveled, round fiber forms, and add about 4 inches of gravel before you pour in the concrete. Put bolts for the hardware in the concrete while it is still wet. Once the concrete cures add anchoring brackets, lay down landscape fabric and a gravel drainage bed, then install the beams.
LAY OUT AND DIG FOR THE SHED
Lay out the shed and centers of the beams with batterboards and mason's line. Mark the ground with chalk about 1 foot outside the outline of the shed. Remove the lines and dig along the chalk line and remove sod and 3 to 4 inches of soil in the entire area. Reattach the lines for the beams to the batterboards and mark them every 4 feet with pieces of tape. Transfer the marks to the ground and dig a hole large enough to hold a concrete tube form. Dig 10 inches below the frost line and shovel 4 inches of gravel into the holes for drainage. Tamp with the end of a 2x4.
PUT FORMS IN THE HOLES
Build a triangular frame like the one shown and nail it to a tube form from inside the tube. Seat the forms over the holes. Measure to make sure each one is exactly the same distance below the layout lines (6 inches is the minimum). Check each form for level. Shim underneath the frame to correct any problems. Double-check that each form is still at the right height.
Mix concrete and shovel it into the forms and holes. Work the shovel up and down in the concrete to help eliminate air pockets. Level the concrete to the top of the forms by pulling a 2x4 across the surface. Drop a plumb bob at each piece of tape and push a J-bolt into the wet concrete. When the concrete dries, you'll use the bolt to attach the anchoring bracket. When the concrete is cured cut away the forms above ground level.
INSTALL THE ANCHORING BRACKET
Put anchoring brackets (made to hold a 4x6) over the J-bolts and align them so you can put the beams in them. Tighten the nuts over the bolts. Place beams into the anchors on the footings. Level the beams from end to end and side to side and with each other by slipping shims under them as needed. Nail the beams to the anchors. Cover the excavation with landscape fabric to prevent weeds, and fill with gravel for drainage.
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Skill Level: Intermediate
Time: 3 hours
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- Fiber concrete forms
- Anchoring brackets